Re: Giving up on XML

Subject: Re: Giving up on XML
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 09:13:42 -0500

> I always understood the definition to be a distinction
> from procedural, or regular old, programming
> languages.

I've posted similarly in other threads on XML in the past, here goes

First, the SGML (Standard Generalised Markup Language) and XML (eXtensible
Markup Language) standards are pretty much identical in so far as users
are concerned. The often hyped "easier" XML is only easier for the
programmers creating parsers. For years, many programs could work with and
create SGML files but weren't able to claim to be SGML compliant since
they failed to implement some of the more complex parts of the SGML
standard. And since Xlink and other add-ons the available range of XML
functionality is as complex (if not more so) than SGML. But these remain
outside the primary standard, so you can have an XML compliant program
without implementing them all.

SGML and XML give you the rules and framework to define tags and
structure. With either standard, you create a DTD. Say, HTML. Documents
are then created and tagged using the tags defined in the DTD and
respecting the structure of the DTD.

So, HTML is an SGML (or XML) compliant language or instance.

No document is simply SGML or XML. Actual files, while SGML and/or XML
compliant, are HTML, MathML, DITA, DocBook, CALS, or some other DTD. In
the case of XML, there may not be a DTD or Schema. But, without one, the
document still needs to be well formed/structured. Which in essence means
that the DTD can be inferred from the document structure.

John Posada wrote:
>> To be pedanticker than that, XML stands
>> for "Extensible Markup Language."

OUCH. Right back at you. :P

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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